Benicio Del Toro, (born February 19, 1967, San Germán or Santurce, Puerto Rico), Puerto Rican-born actor who emerged in the 1990s as a compelling character actor with a flair for oddball roles.
While sources are divided as to where Del Toro was born, it is agreed that he spent his early childhood in Santurce, Puerto Rico. He was nine years old when his mother died, and a few years later his father moved the family to rural Pennsylvania. After graduating from high school, Del Toro entered the University of California, San Diego, intending to major in business. However, he enrolled in an acting class that convinced him to change course. He moved to New York City and studied at the Circle in the Square Theatre School before receiving a scholarship to the Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre in Los Angeles.
Benicio del Toro, is known for playing the bad boy in television (Miami Vice) and in film (The Usual Suspects, Savages, Escobar: Paradise Lost).
“The very first things that I did, even in theater, were bad guys. They are meaty roles for the most part. With the bad guy you have more freedom to experiment and go further out than with a good guy,” said del Toro.
But at heart is a man that promotes equality for all and the stamping out of poverty. He donates to Oxfam, which tries to find permanent solutions to poverty. He is a supporter of GLAAD and AIDS research. He also fights to help Americans who are in the military or abroad to exercise their right to vote through the Overseas Vote Foundation.
At this year’s Cannes Film Festival he almost wore heels as a show of solidarity for the women that were turned away at the red carpet for not wearing the spiky shoes as part of the fests antiquated dress code until the programmer later claimed that high heels were not required.
This year he had three films premiere at Cannes to rave reviews, “Sicario”, “Little Prince” and “A Perfect Day.” The first film will hit theatres on Sept. 18 and the last two are waiting release dates in the US. He also has two more films coming out in 2016 (Weightless) and 2017 (The Trap).
- Del Toro was the youngest Bond Villain at 21-years-old
- He won the 2000 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in the film “Traffic”. A role for which he spoke mostly Spanish.
- One of his favorite hobbies is oil painting
- He was the co-captain of his school’s basketball team
- He still drives the same SUV from the 1990s
- Emotional Rescue by The Rolling Stones was the first album he bough
Del Toro’s 10 top Movies
THE USUAL SUSPECTS (1995)
SWIMMING WITH SHARKS (1995)
THE FUNERAL (1996)
THE PLEDGE (2001)
21 GRAMS (2003)
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2014)
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI (2017)